My friends, the Chicago Bears preseason opener is only six weeks away! I don't know how we made it this far, but the end of the offseason is near and the start of the Chicago Bears 2012 season is soon to be around the corner. That being said, this offseason has been a long and exciting one. The additions and changes Phil Emery has made for the team have raised fans' expectations to the highest they have been since the 2006 season ended.
Each year is different and each year players will have breakout type seasons. This season there are four players that I believe will have a breakout year for the Chicago Bears in 2012.
4. D.J. Moore
I can see most Bears fans scratching their heads with this choice. For a fourth-round pick playing at 5'8", weighing in at 180, and being on the field sparingly, D.J. has performed very well and at a high level compared to most corners. D.J. has a career 8 interceptions, 2 interceptions returned for touchdowns, and a total of 86 tackles with 68 of them being solo tackles. These are impressive numbers for a nickelback with his size and weight, and for a player who doesn't see the field regularly.
Here is a list of players who had similar stats to Moore in 2011, but had more playing time as they were starters for their respective teams.
Brandon Flowers- 47 solo tackles, 4 interceptions, and Touchdowns returned 1.
Jonathan Joseph- 40 solo tackles, 4 interceptions, and Touchdowns returned 0.
Antonio Cromartie- 36 solo tackles, 4 interceptions, and Touchdowns returned 0.
Darrelle Revis- 41 solo tackles, 4 interceptions, and Touchdowns returned 1.
D.J. Moore- 31 solo tackles, 4 interceptions, and Touchdowns returned 1.
I am not saying that D.J. Moore is the next Darrell Revis, but as I stated earlier, it is impressive for a nickelback to get 4 interceptions with the limited playing time that Moore received. Therefore, if teams continue to throw the ball his way and D.J. is able to get more playing time, watch him flourish.
48 solo tackles, 5 interceptions, and 1 interception returned for a touchdown.
3. Kellen Davis
When playing in a Mike Martz offense, the one postilion that was deemed irrelevant in the passing game was the tight end position. That was apparent last year and apparent in Kellen Davis' production: 18 receptions, 206 receiving yards, and 5 Touchdowns. That however, is about to change.
Not only is Kellen Davis big (6'7" and 267 pounds), he is athletic and a decent blocker. However, the main reason I believe his numbers will skyrocket this year is because of the weapons around him and because of new offensive coordinator, Mike Tice. Mike Tice used to be a tight end and if anyone can figure out how to get the ball into Kellen's hands, it's him. Here is a clip of what Peter King told Larry Mayer about what he thinks of the offense for 2012 http://to.ly/ecLm. For the people who don't have time for videos, Mike Tice told Peter King after a practice in Bourbonnais in 2011, "Wait till you see these tightends." King goes on to say, "America has no idea who those guys are but they will this year." Expect big things from Kellen Davis Bears fans.
40 receptions, 850 yards receiving, and 9 Touchdowns.
2. Henry Melton
Melton had a decent year in 2011 and tied for third in the league in sacks by a defensive tackle. However, he was wildly inconsistent last year and this was apparent when Coach Lovie Smith called him out on his own sloppy performance. Hence, when Melton is playing at a high level, he impacts the game--especially when he has Julius Peppers lined up next to him.
Melton is the only other player on the Bears last year, besides Julius Peppers, that was putting pressure on opposing quarterbacks. The next step for Melton is to be consistent, try not to think as much, and to learn from his mistakes last year. The potential to be the best defensive tackle in the league is there, but he has to step up and play up to his potential. As of now, Melton is in a contract year and if he wants to stay in Chicago, he will have to perform at a high level.
40 tackles, 8 sacks, and 4 forced fumbles.
1. (To be continued..)
The player that I am most certain will have a breakout season will actually get his own blog to himself. I will list the ways this player will change the Bears, have a legitimate shot at MVP, and why they should re-sign him to a long term deal.
Which players do you think I am forgetting that will have a breakout year and which ones should I take off of this list?
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